One dead, 4 injured in home invasion shootout
Police seeking man they believe left blood trail
By Mike Baird
Originally published 12:00 a.m., January 25, 2009
Updated 12:45 a.m., January 25, 2009
CORPUS CHRISTI — One neighbor said the blood soaked sidewalks, trash cans and was smeared on a Dodge Neon.
Police tracked the blood trail for about 250 yards before it stopped. But it was where it began that police believe a botched robbery and chaotic shootout late Friday night left one man dead and four others injured.
Neighbors called police about 10:45 p.m. Friday after hearing gunfire in the 1500 block of Lazy Lane.
A 34-year-old man was found dead in the back seat of an older model, maroon Lincoln Town Car in front of the house where the confrontation took place, Cmdr. J. V. Garcia said.
Police believe he arrived at the home with the two other intruders, and was shot outside the vehicle before climbing back in. Police weren't releasing his name early Saturday because his family had not been notified.
Inside the home, which was draped in Christmas lights behind a six-foot chain-link fence, two residents and a suspected intruder were injured.
One of the residents, a 43-year-old man who was shot in the hand, was admitted to the hospital, said Lt. Isaac Valencia, one of six investigators working the case. A 25-year-old man, the owner of the home, had minor head injuries.
"He had bad bruising like he was hit with something," Garcia said.
Other residents -- a 26-year-old woman and her two children younger than 3 -- were not injured.
But a 35-year-old man, suspected of having been an intruder, was found shot several times in the kitchen. Hospital emergency room doctors told police they counted 17 wounds on his body before rushing him to surgery.
"At least half would be entry wounds," Valencia said. The man was in critical condition at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial early Saturday, police said.
The woman was taken by investigators for questioning, and the children were placed with a family member.
"It was fluid and chaotic," Valencia said. Drugs were found inside the home, he added, and some of the individuals involved have gang connections.
"I never saw as many flashing lights in my life," said Rita Ward, 79, who has lived on Lazy Lane since 1953.
Sixteen-year-old Destiney Scozzari, who lives across the street, was startled while at her kitchen table by more than 10 shots, she said.
"My parents were asleep, and my brother was on the couch. It was scary that it happened right across the street and we were blocked in by police crime tape."
Police said several types of weapons were used, but they would not specify because the investigation still is in its early stages.
"It's all still very sketchy," said Cmdr. David Torres, in charge of police investigations.
No arrests had been made Saturday but police continued searching for the man who left the blood trail and had checked with local hospitals to see if he had come in for treatment.
"There was a lot of blood at first," Garcia said. "We followed the trail about 250 yards toward Kostoryz Road as the blood amount dwindled, then stopped. We don't know if the man was picked up or died somewhere."
Neighbor Rene Cervantes, 43, said the blood was smeared on the trash cans set out for collection on Lazy Lane and a car at the corner of Brawner Parkway. Police had asked him not to leave his home.
"I was going to H-E-B about 11 p.m.," Cervantes said. "But they stopped me. The devil never sleeps."
Contact Mike Baird at 886-3774 or firstname.lastname@example.org